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To mark World Book Day, school children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character. Liam Scholes, 11, arrived at Sale High School dressed as Christian Grey, eponymous star of 50 Shades of Grey. He carried a mask and cable ties.
The school duly banned him from participating in themed events and the class photograph.
And that seems harsh given that in the 1930s sad-masochism was the stuff of boys comic books. Indeed 50 Shades of Grey was originally titled 50 Shades of Greyfriars, a work of Billy Bunter fan fiction:
Chick Career: one man’s comic-book crusade for humanity
Are you worried about the growing menace of the Homosexual-Catholic-Islamic-Satanist-Masonic-Alien conspiracy to promote evolutionism, fornication, pornography, pornography, paedophilia, pop music, alcohol and drugs?
Well in that case, it’s high time you got acquainted with Jack Chick – crazy name, crazy guy – and his body of enlightening works.
I first became aware of Jack when I purchased This Was Your Life for a few pence in a Christian bookshop many decades ago. Its primitive and unsubtle visual style intrigued me, as did the way it crudely homed in on the childlike insecurities that lurk within us. Here it is, animated for your convenience (with an extra ending that is definitely NOT in Jack’s original)…
But if the theme of the prodigal son is a familiar one, Jack’s other work takes us to nightmare scenarios far beyond the normal scriptural pastures, where the very existence of the human race hangs in the balance…
So who is Jack Chick? And how did this unlikely evangelist embark on his pioneering cartooning career?
According to his website, ‘As he grew, Jack was constantly drawing, and honing skills that God would later use in a great way.’
A great – some might say mysterious –way indeed.
Jack got off to an inauspicious start: ‘While in high school, none of the Christians would have anything to do with him because of his bad language. They all agreed not to witness to him, convinced that he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ.’
After high school, Jack studied drama, went in the army, and eventually became an actor.
Then one day his mother-in-law insisted that he listen to Charles E Fuller’s Old Fashioned Revival Hour on the radio, during which Jack fell to his knees ‘and my life was changed forever’.
First he borrowed $800 from the credit union to fund the initial printing of Why No Revival?
Then, while out driving, Jack spotted some teenagers on the street. ‘At the time, I didn’t like teenagers or their rebellion,’ he recalled. ‘But, all of a sudden, the power of God hit me and my heart broke and I was overcome with the realisation that these teens were probably on their way to hell. With tears pouring down my face, I pulled my car off the road and wrote as fast as I could, as God poured the story into my mind.’
The result? A Demon’s Nightmare
Jack’s boss told him that the Chinese people had been won over to Communism through mass distribution of cartoon booklets, and this planted the seed of a plan in his fertile mind.
When invited to speak at a local prison, he prepared a flip chart to illustrate his speech. So successful was his performance that ‘nine of the eleven inmates present trusted Christ as their Saviour’.
The artwork from his talk formed the basis of This Was Your Life, the seminal ‘Chick Tract’ mentioned earlier.
The early tracts were not an instant hit.
‘A lot of the bookstores were really outraged at some guy using these cartoons to present the gospel,’ remembered Jack. ‘They thought it was sacrilegious.’
Half a century later, however, with hundreds of tracts translated into a hundred tongues, Chick claims a combined sales figure of 750 million: ‘His burden has always been to get the gospel into the hands of millions of lost people around the world. He wanted to be a missionary himself, but his new wife wanted no part of missionary life. Her aunt had been a missionary in Africa. While pregnant, she was being carried across a river on a stretcher, when one of those carrying her lost a leg to an alligator. But God had other plans. He wanted Jack to stay home and produce effective gospel literature that missionaries could use to win the lost. As a result, many missionaries love Chick tracts and use them to reach multitudes they could never reach one on one. Today, over fifty years after writing his first tract, God is still giving Jack Chick new gospel tracts. In fact, he is now producing some of his most popular work. As of this writing, five of the ten most popular Chick tracts in stock have been written in the last year or two.’
Jack’s tracts bring new and vivid illustrations of Christian tenets. In The Execution, a murderer is spared the gallows – only to discover (to his horror) that his own mother offered to be hanged in his place, just as Jesus died for our sins. In Flight 144, a Christian couple who have spent 50 years doing good works around the world in God’s name are killed in a plane crash and refused entry to heaven because good works don’t save sinners – only God can. In Heart Trouble, a man visits a cardiologist who tells him that he will die (‘everybody dies’) and that everyone is born with a heart problem: ‘the ugly things down deep in your heart that we can’t see… But God does.’ In Lisa (now no longer available but posted online by Chick’s detractors) a doctor informs a father that he has given his young daughter an STD – then saves his soul by introducing him to Jesus. In Big Daddy? a crazed teacher throws a boy out of his class for questioning the theory of evolution.
And so on. Targets range from the world’s biggest religions, science, abortion and homosexuality through to Santa Claus, Halloween, Harry Potter, and Dungeons and Dragons.
Many people seem to find it amusing to republish the distinctive Chick Tracts online, with amended text that ridicules Jack’s urgent message.
Some claim that Jack is a bigot and a hater. Others, that he is delusional and mad.
Garfield Black, 48, of Waterloo, south east London, says that if you respond to the challenge by Peppa Pig to “find the odd one out” the pink cartoon character responds with a “f*ck you… odd one out”.
Garfield bought the Peppa Pig Fun and Learn Tablet for his son Amari.
Mr Black is upset and outrage that his son should hear such language. Here he is voicing his upset to the camera. This way, when Amari is big he can look back and know how close he came to picking up bad langauge:
Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired Surf’s Flirty Shades of Surf liquid laundry detergent to “bring a touch of cheekiness to the daily wash”. It is a riot of “scentsual oils”. It contains “Alluring Rose and Jasmine”, who are not two genie porn stars that appear when you rub the bottle on a sweat stain, but the fragrant bleeding from spanked, throttled and rinsed flowers.
To accompany the crack of your knees, the thump of your heart and the panting, you joggers can get ringing. Or a-ringin’. Because Runbell is a the pedestrian early-warning system that alerts walkers, dawdlers and people enjoying the peace and quiet of a park or beach to your presence.
How does it work? Well:
Pedestrians commonly complain about being overtaken by faster runners – instead of yelling out “COMING THROUGH!” or surprising them warn them with the pleasant sound of a brass bell.
Why can’t they just carry a brass bell?
Social lepe coming through
Now they can!
The Runbell ring looks like something a cock might wear because it is something a cock might wear, although not in the sauna.
A sleek, stylish wearable bell for runners, solving the problem of how to courteously warn pedestrians on shared pathways
Nothing says courtesy better than ringing a bell at someone minding their own business. It’s the equivalent of honking a horn as you weave in and out of a traffic jam. It is the guaranteed friend maker.
In other exciting product news, Anorak introduces Walking By, a handy knuckle-worn Runbell responder!
MEASLES are back. And that’s cool. Measles is the hipster disease.
The great thing about measles is that they are FREE! But even then some mums and dads are too uptight to get with the cool.
But in Melanie’s Marvelous Measles these stiffs can get down (six feet under -ed). The books costs. But it is worth it?
The author/publisher writes on Amazon:
“Melanie’s Marvelous Measles was written to educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body. Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated children were blamed for their peers’ sickness. Something which is just not possible when they didn’t have the diseases at all. Stephanie Messenger lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and devotes her life to educating people about vaccine dangers and supporting families in their natural health choices. She has the support of many natural therapists and natural-minded doctors.”
This book takes children aged 4 – 10 years on a journey of discovering about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations, while teaching them to embrace childhood disease, heal if they get a disease, and build their immune systems naturally.
Readers on Amazon love it!
Buy now and buy only ONCE!
And don’t forget to rub it all over youir infected kid before passing it on!
Note: She also wrote this:
Sarah Visits a Naturopath
A children’s storybook written by Stephanie Messenger
This book exposes children aged 4 – 10 years, to the idea that they create most of their ill health by the choices they make. It encourages them to listen to the messages their bodies give them. Sarah visits a naturopath to get advice on staying well according to nature’s laws.
To New York’s East Village, where you can buy edible chocolate Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Lord Ganesh and the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The edible Mohammad is there somewhere on the shelves, most likely, but spotting him as hard, what his image being banned, and all.
But not everyone is happy:
Bond Street Chocolate storeowner Lynda Stern was recently asked to discontinue her Lord Ganesh chocolate by Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed. In a press release, Zed stated, “Upset Hindus urge withdrawal of Lord Ganesh-shaped edible chocolate”…
Stern has dismissed the criticism, saying, “All spiritual icons are treated equally in my shop…with honor and respect to the religion.
The New York Times spoke with Queens-based Hindu Temple Society of North America, president Uma Mysorekar. Said he:
“We Hindus look at the universe as eternal and god almighty as one…so we would not say that the lord resides only in that little piece of chocolate. It’s more like when they eat it, the lord comes back to us — he is within us.”
Go for the head first, followed by the trunk, legs and beard.
“Art is there to provoke the reaction and usually for the one negative comment there’s thousands of positive comments as well,” says sculptor Gregor Kregar, whose $200,000 sculpture commissioned by Auckland Council has been erected in Auckland, New Zealand.
“To be honest it’s a little bit upsetting but for me it’s almost more humorous or funny… If you look at the finished sculptures photographed in my workroom there is not a phallic form to be seen.
Ever eat at Noma, “the world’s best restaurant”. Noma’s based at the Oriantal Mandarin hotel in Tokyo, Japan:
We are delighted to announce that Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo will be extended for two more weeks due to overwhelming demand. The world’s #1 restaurant will now be open from 9 January to 14 February 2015 except for Sundays.
This is a picture of one of the meals:
As you gastronauts pop along to the garden centre for a budget Noma experience, the few will be tucking into their table centrepieces :
Fixed Menu + Wine pairing: (40,200 Yen + 24,700 Yen)
Fixed Menu + Juice pairing: (40,200 Yen + 16,500 Yen)
Fixed Menu: (40,200 Yen, with an option to pay for wine or other beverages à la carte on the day)
Private Dining Room: our private dining room will have a maximum capacity of 10 guests and will also be offered a selection of the above menu options. Smaller parties are welcome to book the private dining room, however please note that there will be a minimum spend of 618,000 Yen.
Please note that all prices are subject to 8% consumption tax, 13% service charge. Prices above do not include the cost of aperitif, water, tea/coffee, or avec.
Avec! 40,200 Yen is around $350. The dishes looks sublime. These are on offer at Noma’s Denmark HQ:
Ingrid Marie and herbs
Reindeer moss and cep mushrooms
Blackcurrant and rose petals
Beef tartare and ants
Smoked and pickled quail egg
Cucumber and scallop fudge
White cabbage and samphire
Caramelized milk and monkfish liver
Sea urchin and duck
Æbleskiver with greens
Burnt onion and walnut oil
Squid and broccoli
Fennel and parsley
Langoustine and nasturtium
Radish and yeast
Pumpkin, kelp and beechnuts
Beetroot and plum
Sloe berries and aromatic herbs
Cured egg yolk, potato and rose oil
Roasted bone marrow
Cabbage and nasturtium flowers
Aronia berries and söl
Potato, plum and plum kernel
Anything stand out? The poor Ingrid Marie (lovely girl)? The moss? The live ants? And they’re on the menu in Tokyo, too:
Noma Tokyo’s tasting menu, which costs 149,500 yen ($1,265) for two people, has a showstopper opening course: jumbo shrimp, so recently killed that they are still twitching, served with about a dozen tiny black ants for seasoning.
The dish is a take on botan ebi, or shrimp sushi, with the ants providing “flavors of the Nagano forest.” Businessweek explains that the dish takes advantage “of the bugs’ natural reserves of formic acid, which can mimic the sourness of citrus.” A reviewer for the Japan Times said that the ants’ “little pinpricks of sharp acidity” are “a perfect accent for the sweet, pink flesh” of the shrimp.
Noma’s chef René Redzepi served ants over over cabbage leaves dressed with crème fraîche at his London eatery.
You might think the smarter set are being had, fed unseasoned cheap protein as a delicacy. But Matt ‘The Talc’, who has foraged at some of the pop-up mobile farm shops by London’s finesest restautants (you man bins? – ed) assures us that ants and moss have never done him any harm. But, then, he used to be the Emperor and before the charity shop gave him a dressing gown could be seen about town dressed in his wonderful suit of pure-spun gold.
This charming inspired piece of garden sculpture features a caricature of Nigel Farage (MEP), leader of the UK Independence Party. He is dressed, rather appropriately, in full John Bull garb, complete with Union Flag waistcoat, UKIP colour scheme, and is holding his trademark pint of mild in one hand, and a fag in the other, just like the real thing.
He stands 6 inches high* (I don’t care for centimeters), and is made from a weather resistant acrylic bond , is hand painted and sealed against the vagaries of the British weather (As one would expect from Nigel himself)
Buy now. Buy often!
Anorak is struck by how closely Farage gnome resembles a young Viscount Linley.